December 29, 2016
Lisa:Who were your mentors?
Barbara: My first mentor was my father, E. P. Reineke, a research scientist at M.S.U. in the physiology dept. He did some important original research there. I learned to love and appreciate nature from him. My husband, Norm Spring has been a long time outdoorsman and conservationist. I have learned a great deal about nature and the democratic process from him.
Lisa:What are some books that have changed your life?
Barbara:Silent Spring by Rachel Carson opened my eyes to what we are doing to the environment. After reading the book and recommending it to my husband, we both became activists on behalf of the environment before the first Earth Day in 1970. I also loved A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold. I required my students to read it when I taught writing classes at Grand Valley State University.
Lisa:Who do you think would enjoy reading this book?
Barbara:I wrote The Dynamic Great Lakes for a general audience.
I spoke to school children this week. I opened my talk with a space photo of Planet Earth and explained that the water they saw was 98% salt water-only about 2% is freshwater. “Dang!” said a kid in surprise.
The audience for my book is really adults, but school age kids will find it interesting, too. It is an up to date reference to the five Great Lakes and their connecting waters: their fishes, dunes, wetlands, seasonal changes and changes caused by people. The Dynamic Great Lakes will be an eye-opener for anyone.
Lisa:Why is the Dynamic Great Lakes an important book?
Barbara:The Great Lakes are important but often misunderstood. They are about 20% of all the fresh surface water on this planet. People need to understand their dynamics in order to make sound decisions about them. Recently a grassroots movement in Michigan blocked oil companies from further oil exploration under Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. The risk of polluting the lakes with oil and noxious gases was intolerable. There will be more schemes that threaten the health of the Great Lakes. Armed with knowledge, people will demand the right thing of their government. They will also be careful of what they do in their personal decisions. The lakes’ water is low this year, but it will rise again. People who know this is a natural cycle will not build too close to the water.
Lisa:Why is this book a good choice for Earth Day?
Barbara:The book encourages people to think globally and act locally. Everything is connected to everything else. This means that what we burn, what we release in the water and land and what we eat are all connected. We often forget that we are part of the whole and flowing web of life. Our actions will affect us now and in the future.
Lisa:How is your book different from other books about the Great Lakes?
Barbara:I limited my topic to changes in the Great Lakes, both through natural forces and through changes caused by people. There have been a great many changes and I believe people will be interested in learning about the Pacific salmon planted in the lakes to feed on the pesky alewives that invaded them through the canals around Niagara Falls. They will be interested in other exotic species such as the zebra mussels and how they got into all five Great Lakes
Lisa: How did you research the book? Barbara:I began with observations. We live within view of Lake Michigan. I can observe the change of seasons and what kinds of fish are being caught. I have also observed all the other lakes and their connecting waters. I then set out to find out authoritative information about the lakes by interviewing experts. The book is interdisciplinary. I interviewed a geologist, fish biologists, and naturalists. I asked them for good sources in print. I went out on Grand Valley State University’s research vessel, Angus to see what research was being done. I enjoyed working on the Dynamic Great Lakes because there was always something new.
Lisa:What else have you written? Barbara:As a journalist, I have written articles for the Grand Rapids Press, a major newspaper in West Michigan. These articles were about travels, profiles of interesting people, and outdoor subjects. I also have had articles published in Michigan Out of Doors magazine, Michigan Natural Resources magazine, Muskegon Magazine, Field & Stream and many other publications.
September 8, 2016
Read about Great Lakes fishing in The Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring available on Amazon.com, bn.com and many other bookstores.
May 27, 2016
Pacific Salmon in Great Lakes Here is an interesting link about changes in the Great Lakes fishes.
For more information, The Dynamic Great Lakes shows how many changes happen and continue to happen in the Great Lakes. Available at Amazon.com, bn.com and many fine bookstores.
April 30, 2016
Here is a clipping from 1985, the year some summer cottages fell into Lake Michigan. Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are high again this year. It is normal for the Great Lakes’ water levels to rise and fall. Don’t buy real estate too close to the water. It is powerful.
Read more about the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes. This
non-fiction book is available at bn.com, Amazon.com, the Bookman in Grand Haven and many other fine bookstores.
March 6, 2016
click the link above
This critically acclaimed book is also available in paperback from many bookstores and online at Amazon.com, bn.com and many other places.
January 14, 2016
Ice formation on Lake Michigan has started later than usual due to unseasonably warm weather. Now ice ridges are forming along the sandy shores of West Michigan. Just how this happens I describe in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes.
Another phenomenon that is happening right now is pancake ice. Here is an excerpt from my book.
Pancake ice forms from sheets of ice that break off and then are like a broken plate glass window. When these pieces of ice continually knock together by the rolling action of waves, they become rounded and curled up at the edges like gigantic pancakes. Sometimes the pancake ice looks like bumper cars crashing into each other like a wild carnival ride.
November 8, 2014
My watercolor of surfers about to enter the “washing machine” so called because of the turbulent waters when the wind causes the surf to rise and then bang against the cement structure. This is a dangerous place to surf. Lake Michigan is treacherous and many have been lost to these waters.
Read more about all of the freshwater seas called The Dynamic Great Lakes in my non-fiction book. Available at Barnes & Noble, The Bookman, Amazon.com etc.
January 13, 2014
November 30, 2013
The Lake Michigan lakeshore is starting to freeze and there is lots of snow in West Michigan. The whitefish are running but the Grand Heven pier where fishermen like to catch them is treacherous with ice. A fisherman slipped into the water recently and his body washed up on shore north of the pier. There is a railing along the Grand River approaching the pier where it is safer to stand. It is not necessary to venture out so far on the pier. Please be careful.
Read about how ice forms on the Great Lakes in my book, The Dynamic Great Lakes available from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and many other bookstores such as Powells, Schulers Books and Music and the Bookman in Grand Haven, Mi as well as Hostetters. The local museum also has a few copies.